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Pre-Roll Tubes 101 - Which Type is Right For You?

Pre-Roll Tubes 101 - Which Type is Right For You?

Posted by Custom Cones USA on Dec 17th 2021

Last Updated: December 20, 2021

In today's market, there is a never-ending list of ways to package your pre-rolls! From tins and custom cigarette boxes, to child-resistant slider boxes, and everything in between! However, the one pre-roll packaging item that has been around since the start of it all, and continues to be the industry's most popular pre-roll packaging is, without a doubt, the humble but handy pre-roll tube.

Its low cost, functionality, and wide selection of style and colors has made the pre-roll tube attractive to cannabis consumers and companies alike. With a multitude of branding options available, companies are able to make their pre-roll tubes completely their own! Pre-roll stickers, direct printing, and shrink wrap make it easier than ever to allow cannabis brands to customize the pre-roll tube to be completely unique to their brand.

When selecting your pre-roll tubes, consider these three things:

  • 1. Which compliance regulations are in place in your state?
  • 2. What type of aesthetic is your brand trying to achieve? Are you a luxury cannabis brand, or is your aim to be as budget-friendly as possible? The type of tube you choose greatly depends on your aesthetic and overall branding.
  • 3. What size of joints will you be loading into the tubes?

Compliance and Functionality

As state cannabis regulators focus on keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, compliance with child-resistant packaging has become more and more important. Not every state has the same compliance measures to abide by, as some markets are stricter than others. 

Not all pre-roll tubes are certified child-resistant, and even tubes that claim to be child-resistant may not be certified according to the ASTM D-3475 standards. ASTM standards require that a package is tested with 100 children under the age of 5, and a passing grade requires that 85 out of the 100 children are unable to open the product without a demonstration, and 80 out of the 100 children are unable to open the product even with a demonstration.

Equally as important is that at least 90 out of 100 adults between the ages of 50-70 years old are able to successfully open the pre-roll tube. It isn’t uncommon to see pre-roll tubes that are child-resistant, but also seem to be adult-resistant, being nearly impossible to open without use of extreme force.

Many markets also have specifications on labeling in order to remain compliant. Some require THC percentages, health warnings, net weight, and/or THC warnings. 

Opacity of the packaging is also important to note, as several states don't allow translucent packaging. While showcasing a product within a clear package is desireable to cannabis companies, it may not be possible to remain complianct while doing so in some markets. Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Oregon require cannabis to be kept in opaque packaging.

Many states regulations require that cannabis products be tamper evident. Pop-top pre-roll tubes on their own are usually not tamper-evident, so manufacturers must add a tamper-evident mechanism. There are two main ways of making pop-top tubes tamper evident: the first way is using tamper evident shrink bands, and the second way is to use a paper sticker. 

tamper evident band is similar to a shrink sleeve – however, it is a smaller clear plastic band, rather than a sleeve, which only goes around the cap or lid. This is then tightly shrunk around the lid/cap, meaning the only way to open the container is to rip the tamper-evident band off of the lid. This allows consumers to tell if the products have been tampered with.

The second way to make a pre-roll tube tamper evident is to use a paper sticker which goes over the lid or cap. This paper sticker must be ripped off/torn in order to open the lid – sometimes just turning the cap is enough to tear the sticker, so if done properly the customer doesn’t even have to remove the sticker. 

Many brands will make the mistake of using plastic stickers instead of paper. Plastic stickers are extremely difficult to tear and can be removed and reapplied to the container with little residue/evidence. This doesn’t really provide tamper evidence as a person could easily lift up the sticker, tamper with the contents and then reapply the sticker without the consumer being any the wiser. A paper sticker, on the other hand, will easily rip if someone tries to remove and reapply the sticker to the container. This makes it clear if the container has been tampered with or not. 

Here at Custom Cones USA, we have worked diligently to find pre-roll tube options that are child-resistant as well as fully functional and durable for use by adults, and we try to have options for even the strictest cannabis markets.

Types of Tubes

Pop-Top Pre-Roll Tubes

Pop-top pre-roll tubes are far and wide the most popular style of pre-roll tubes. Simply squeeze, pop, and smoke!

The easy function and low price point make this an economical choice that is popular all over the cannabis community. In order to sell a product as affordably as possible, every cost matters!

All of the pop-top pre-roll tubes offered here at Custom Cones USA are made in the USA and are certified child-resistant in accordance with ASTM standards. Our pop-top tubes passed with flying colors! 98.5% of children are unable to open our pre-roll tubes without a demonstration, and 92.5% of children are unable to open the pre-roll tube even after being shown a demonstration. And the best part? 100% of adults between the ages of 50-70 are able to successfully open the pre-roll tubes! This helps keep cannabis out of little hands, but keeps it easily accessible to the adults who need it.

These tubes are available in a variety of colors and opacities to meet different state regulations while providing packaging that can be kept in theme with your company’s branding.

This means the pre-roll tubes we offer here at Custom Cones USA are the perfect balance between child-resistance and functionality. 

Child-Resistant Glass Pre-Roll Tubes

Custom Cones USA offers multiple types of Screw-Top Glass Pre-Roll Tubes. Our certified child-resistant screw-tops come in varieties of black, white, ridged, non-ridged, wooden, metallic silver, and metallic gold.

Whatever your brand’s aesthetic is, we have something to suit it!

These child-resistant screw-top pre-roll tubes are easy to use, as they have a push-and-turn style lid similar to many child-resistant medication bottles. We carry clear and opaque options in matte or shiny black, white, metallic gold, and metallic silver.

Aluminum Screw-Top Glass Pre-Roll Tubes

We carry three non-child-resistant aluminum screw tops in black, gold, and silver. These are popular choices in lenient markets that do not have strict child-resistance compliance restrictions, or for companies willing to add secondary packaging/child-resistant measures to the tube.

States that do not currently require child-resistant pre-roll packaging include Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Washington, and Vermont. If your market has child-resistant restrictions but you still want to utilize the unique aesthetic of these tubes, you can add other child-resistant packaging measures like exit bags to keep in compliance.

Cork-Top Pre-Roll Tubes

Cork-Top Glass Pre-Roll Tubes are sleek and classy, making for a luxury smoking experience. It is important to note that, while these tubes are attractive and the most air-tight option available, they are not child-resistant. The cork stopper is the only sealing mechanism for the tube, and it is easy enough to get open that a child could potentially do it.

In order to be compliant in their markets, some brands will put these cork-top tubes into child-resistant boxes or bags, if their state requires child-resistant containers for pre-rolls. Some states do not require pre-rolls to come in child-resistant containers, and some allow exit bags to be used at the dispensary. In these cases, the cork-top pre-roll tubes are a great option.

We offer three varieties of cork-top glass pre-roll tubes: a standard-width tube, a wide-mouth tube, and a champagne cork tube. A similar but different option would be our air-tight bamboo wood lid tube, which acts similarly as the cork-top tubes but provides a slightly different aesthetic. It’s a great choice for multi-packs of pre-rolls or blunts.

Super Seal Glass Pre-Roll Tubes

Our Super Seal Pre-Roll Tubes are another option for our certified child-resistant tubes. They use another push-and-turn style lid similar to the other child-resistant glass tubes, but these also feature a tamper-evident band that automatically attaches when the cap is sealed during production. These doob tubes are air-tight, keeping your product sealed and fresh for longer on the shelf.

Reclaimed Ocean Plastic Tubes

These plastic tubes are made from reclaimed ocean plastic! This eco-friendly option helps take plastic out of our oceans and breathes new life into it.

We have three versions of this reclaimed plastic tube, and they are all child-resistant and opaque, making them compliant in even the strictest markets.

The first option is a classic pop-top tube. The second option has a lid that requires users to align the edges on the cap with the dots to be able to open, similar to some medications like aspirin. The third tube is similar to the second tube, but wider and slightly shorter.

These tubes provide great opportunities to achieve compliance while helping clean up the most fragile ecosystem in the world!

Compostable and Biodegradable EcoLine Pre-Roll Tubes

The first of its kind, this new pop-top pre-roll tube is revolutionizing the cannabis packaging industry! Fully compostable and biodegradable, these EcoLine joint tubes are made from a blend of plant-based carbohydrates, glycerin, and synthetic polymers. Whether they make it to a landfill or to the compost pile in your back yard, rest assured that these tubes will fully decompose and become food for the planet. Doob tube food!

Not only are these pre-roll tubes child-resistant and easy for adults to open, but they are durable and functional too! A lot of time was spent designing and testing the hinge on the lid of the pre-roll. The end result is a “living hinge” that connects the lid to the body of the container and is made from the same material, acting as a single piece.

Many times, companies use cheap and brittle plastic to create pop-top tubes, resulting in a broken hinge that prevents users from being able to store their pre-roll for future use. It can ruin the entire experience for a user, making the pre-roll feel cheap. Custom Cones USA’s living hinge can be opened and closed over 100 times!

These eco-friendly pop-tops are child-resistant and opaque, making them compliant in even the strictest cannabis markets.

Are Pre-Roll Tubes Smell-Proof and Air-Tight? Will Pre-Rolls Stay Fresh?

  • Our Pop-Top Pre-Roll Tubes, while being the most popular option, are not airtight, and they don't completely contain the aromas of your product. However, you can add a heat-shrink band to decrease airflow and increase the shelf life of your product.
  • Our Child-Resistant Glass Pre-Roll Tubes prevent airflow, but they are not completely air-tight. While they may be most aesthetically pleasing, they may not keep your product as fresh for as long as some of our other options. To help resolve this issue, many companies include moisture packs with their pre-rolls.
  • Our Aluminum Screw-Top Pre-Roll Tubes have padding in the lid to create a tighter seal and keep your product fresher for longer.
  • Our Cork-Top Glass Pre-Roll Tubes work best with a shrink-wrap sleeve in order to be more airtight. These are sylish tubes, but it is important to note, however, that these tubes are not child-resistant and may not be compliant in some markets without additional measures to secure them.
  • Our Super Seal Pre-Roll Tubes have a soft plastic gasket on the inside of the lid. When the lid is screwed down, the insert secures against the tube, creating an air-tight and water-tight seal.

You can even further enhance the freshness of your pre-rolls by including a moisture pack inside the tube, or by adding a tamper-evident heat-shrink band around the lid.

Custom Branding Your Pre-Roll Tubes

  • The Pre-Roll Tube Label is the most versatile option because companies are able to customize their stickers in almost any way they want. Stickers are available as half-wraps or full-wraps, and customizable die-cuts allow for unique shapes and styles! Gold foil, embossing, spot-UV, soft-touch, and many other style options are available for a special touch. Here at Custom Cones USA, we offer a labeling service, so you can have your tubes delivered with your label already applied and ready to load with product!
  • Direct-Printing on your pre-roll tube is another customization option! This can be achieved through hot-stamping or UV-printing. The small size of the tubes makes it a little tricky to get a full print on, which makes the cost higher than the other customization options. However, direct-printing does give the pre-roll tubes a more premium look and will impress customers!
  • In-Mold Labeling is a brand-new customization option we recently introduced at Custom Cones USA! In-Mold Labeling turns a company’s branded label into a 3D model to be produced as a part of the tube, made from the same polypropylene plastic as the rest of the tube. This one-step process produces the tube, branding, and lid as one piece of plastic that is sustainable, cost-friendly, and easily customizable.
  • Boxing your pre-roll tubes provides another luxury experience to your customers, by giving them an unboxing experience. It also provides more retail space for your branding and will stand out among the other pre-rolls on the shelf!
  • Shrink sleeves may also be added to your pre-roll tubes. A shrink sleeve is a plastic sleeve you place the tube in, and then apply heat through hot air or steam to shrink the plastic sleeve tightly around the tube. The shrink sleeve is able to cover the tube in its entirety, allowing for more branding space than other options. It is also much faster than traditional sticker labeling—it takes just 2-3 seconds to shrink sleeve a tube! In addition, it provides a tamper-evident seal and an extra barrier to keep air out, keeping your pre-roll fresher for longer.

Pre-Roll Tube Sizing

Pre-roll tubes come in many different sizes with a variety of lengths and diameters. However, there are some industry-standard sizes to go off of.

Pop-Top Pre-Roll Tubes

The standard diameter for a single joint pop-top pre-roll tube is 16mm. This allows ample room for the pre-roll to fit in the tube, while still being slim enough to easily fit in a user’s pocket. However, we do also carry wide-mouth tubes to fit multiple pre-rolls. For example, a 22m wide-mouth tube can hold up to three pre-rolls, and a 30mm extra wide-mouth tube can hold up to five pre-rolls.

Standard lengths for pre-roll tubes include 90mm, 98mm, and 116mm.

The 90mm pre-roll tube works well for 84mm pre-rolled cones, also known as half-gram joints. We see a number of brands who use the 90mm tube for a half-gram pre-roll that can sit right next to the register at the dispensary. It is very beneficial for a dispensary to have grab-and-go options that can easily be upsold to the customer as they make their purchase.

The 98mm pre-roll tube works well for the 98mm pre-rolled cones, also known as the .75-gram joint. This is a nice in-between size for those who think a half-gram is too short and stubby, but a full-gram joint is too much.

Another option for the 98mm pre-roll tube would be to put in two 98mm reefer cones. Reefer cones are slimmer versions of the .75-gram cones, fitting a half-gram instead. This allows a full gram to be put into a tube—a user can buy a full gram, but split it into two toke sessions. Many consumers find this to be appealing over the full-gram king-sized cone.

The 116mm pre-roll tube works well for the 109mm pre-rolled cone, which is also known as the king-size cone. It holds a full gram of flower, and this is the most common single pre-roll product in dispensaries. A creative idea with the 116mm pre-roll tube that we have seen is including a mini-bud with the joint as a nice bonus for the customer’s pipe, bowl, or bong!

There are also wider pre-roll tubes which are designed to fit a higher number of pre-rolls per package, which are great for multi-packs!

Glass Pre-Roll Tubes

Glass pre-roll tubes have slightly different measurements than their plastic pop-top counterparts.

Cork-top tubes tend to be longer in order to accommodate the cork going into the tube. The glass cork tubes we offer are 120mm in length – this is intended to act like a 116mm tube, with extra length to compensate for the cork. We offer a standard 15.8mm-wide cork-top tube, as well as a 17.7mm wide-mouth option.

Child-resistant push-and-turn cap glass tubes come in a 110mm length. They don’t need any extra height, as it uses a cap rather than a cork. They have a smaller-diameter opening due to the child-resistance mechanism. This tube size nicely fits palm leaf blunts and hemp wrap blunt cones.

In Conclusion

With so many options, a company needs to be particular about choosing which pre-roll tube is right for their brand.

If your company is located in a state with strict compliance regulations, your options may be a little more limited. Some states require child-resistant packaging. Others require that any packaging that holds cannabis products must be completely opaque. Some may prohibit the use of graphics and cartoons, and many require the dangers of consuming cannabis on the labeling. We try to have something for everyone!

If your brand is known for producing premium products for an especially luxurious smoking experience, it may be worth considering glass screw-top tubes, or our Super Seal tubes. Think about the colors of your logo and branding, and select something that complements it well. If you are interested in custom branding, we have many options to help!

The size and quantity of the pre-rolls you’ll be storing in your tubes are also incredibly important. You don’t want to squeeze and stuff a pre-roll in, only for your customer to struggle getting it out. But you also don’t want your product to be damaged from rolling around in a jar that is too big for it, resulting in another poor experience for your customer.

With so many available ways to package your pre-rolls, Custom Cones USA wants to help you find what best fits your brand and product.